WJCC 2013 Women: Day 7 Report

Russia women, along with the Czech Republic and Switzerland, earned valuable wins today Photo: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Russia edged one step closer to the play-off stages in Wednesday afternoon’s tenth session of women’s play at the World Junior Curling Championships 2013 in Sochi, Russia with an emphatic victory over Denmark, by 9-3 in just six ends.

Denmark opened this game well, stealing a single point in the first end. But after this, the Russians got into their stride. They opened their account with two points in the second end and then stole three points in the third end when fourth player, Yulia Portunova, made a good draw, forcing Danish skip Stephanie Risdal to attempt a raise to the button which did not come off and instead handed Russia a steal of three points.

Russia then scored four in the fifth end when they next had the hammer and, after scoring one point in the sixth end, Denmark conceded, at 3-9 down. This result gave Russia their fifth win from eight games.

Afterwards, Russian skip, Alina Kovaleva, said: "We want to get to the play-offs and yesterday we played bad games, so today was good to get us together and we had a very strong game. We're not sure if we've qualified for the play-offs, but all we have to focus on is winning the next game anyway just to be sure we make it."

Having already qualified for the play-off stages, defending champions Scotland beat Switzerland by 7-2 in just seven ends. Their eighth win from as many games guarantees they will finish in top place when the round-robin section of the event concludes on Thursday.

The Scottish women took control of this game from the off, scoring two points in the second end after they had split the house early in the end, and then stealing a further one point in the third end.

Switzerland had changed their order for this game, and normal third Jenny Perret, who was delivering fourth stones, faced five Scottish counters as she made her final draw in the fourth end. She got inside them all to score one point. However, in the fifth end, Perret missed a difficult take-out, moving a second Scottish stone into counting position in the process, which permitted Scottish skip, Hannah Fleming, to play a simple take out and score three more points.

In the sixth end a Swiss clear-out attempt took out two of three Scottish stones but left the third counting to give Scotland another steal of one point and a 7-1 lead. Switzerland scored a consolatory single point in the seventh end and then conceded.

Afterwards, Scotland skip, Hannah Fleming said: "I think we played consistently well throughout the whole game. We got on top of them at the start and continued like that throughout." Looking forward to the play-offs, she said: "For us it doesn't matter who we play in the play-offs, we just concentrate on our own game and that works."

Sweden recorded their third win in a row when they beat Norway by 7-4 and remarkably, after losing their first four games, remain in contention for at least a tie-breaker place at the weekend. Unlike some of the others teams with play-off chances, they still have two round-robin games to play.

The Swedes were never headed in this game, and built up a 5-0 lead by the fifth end half-way break. Norway started their revival with a single point in the sixth end and came right back into it when they added three points in the eighth end to be just 6-4 down.

However, in the ninth end, Swedish skip, Sara McManus, made a perfect draw to the button right in front of two Norwegian stones to score one point and keep her advantage. When Norway could only score one point in the tenth, the Swedes had their victory, at 7-5.

After this win, Swedish skip Sara McManus said: "I had some bad stones at the end. But we were up three in the tenth end so I wasn't too worried. We're just taking it one game at a time now and going for the win every single time. We need that. So no, we're not watching any games at all, we're just focusing on our own."

By contrast to the Swedish hopes kept alive by this result, Norway are now sure to finish as the lowest European team and are relegated to the European Curling Challenge competition next year.

In the fourth game of the session, a re-cast USA team went down by 7-3 to the Czech Republic, a result that keeps the Czechs in play-off contention but ends the American challenge.

The Czechs scored three points in the second end, and the Americans never really recovered from that. Afterwards, Czech skip, Zuzana Hajkova said: "It was so important to win this game because now we have a big chance to getting to the play-offs. This game was really tight, we were lucky that we had a much better beginning than our opponent. The USA really put pressure on us. In the first and last end, I couldn't do anything and still there was a chance for them to make a three almost. We were just lucky we threw everything right in the last end so they couldn't win."

RESULTS

Women Session 10:

USA 3, Czech Republic 7; Sweden 7, Norway 5; Switzerland 2, Scotland 7; Russia 9, Denmark 3.

Standings after 10 sessions:

Scotland won 8, lost 0
Japan 5-2
Russia 5-3
Czech Republic 4-3
Denmark 4-4
Sweden 3-4
Switzerland 3-5
USA 3-5
Canada 2-5
Norway 1-7

Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of the event on the event website http://wjcc2013.worldcurling.net and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV.

The live coverage schedule is available along with news, live scores, shot by shot and galleries on the event website: http://wjcc2013.worldcurling.net

World Junior Curling Championships Facebook Page: Hit ‘like’ to keep updated: http://www.facebook.com/WorldJuniorCurlingChampionships

Twitter hashtag for the event: #wjcc2013

The World Junior Curling Championships 2014 will take place in Flims, Switzerland, from 26 February to 5 March 2014 in the Waldhaus Curling Arena.

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